It started out as a beautification and community development project, but a pedestrian plaza on the Brooklyn-Queens border is an eyesore that is detrimental to business, locals say.
Five parking spots were permanently removed last November when the Department of Transportation (DOT) built the plaza at Drew Street and 101st at City Line.
“This plaza has totally crippled my business,” said Ahmad Ubayda, owner of the 99 Cent Ozone Park Discount Hardware store on the corner of the block. “This has been my worst year of business because they took away parking spaces for my customers but aren’t even using them.”
The site has deteriorated since its opening, locals charged.
Four tables and 12 chairs set up in a small section of the plaza while most of the space isn’t used.
Initial plans called for ample seating space, permanent bench seating and bike parking. When the plaza was first built there were plenty of chairs and tables, some even with umbrellas.
But a few weeks after its grand opening much of the furniture, which was chained up to a nearby light pole, was stolen and it hasn’t been fully replaced since, according to residents.
Now the plaza has just four tables, 12 chairs, two permanent benches and no bike parking space.
Moreover, the Bangladesh American Community Development and Youth Services Corporation (BACDYS), a local nonprofit organization, is responsible for the plaza’s upkeep, according to the DOT. Yet garbage overflowed from several cans and littered the floors on Monday.